Melbourne Cup up to $8m
The Melbourne Cup has received another prize money injection, with this year’s edition of Australia’s most famous race to be worth $8 million.
Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott made the announcement yesterday, with the purse increasing by $700,000 from $7.3 million last year.
The connections of the winner will pocket $4.4 million, but Elliott says the prize money increase, which is the second boost in as many years for the cup, is in no way a kneejerk reaction to recent prize money hikes in NSW for its revamped rich spring program.
In saying that, she took a swipe at Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys, calling him “a silly little man making silly decisions” over the introduction of bigmoney races in Sydney which clash with Melbourne’s spring carnival.
“It is in no way a reaction,” Elliott said.
“That was ratified at a board meeting a month ago, but we’ve been thinking about that, we actually thought about it last year as well. But we then thought, ‘why wouldn’t we make that announcement in the 100th year of the beautiful Melbourne Cup trophy?’
“So that’s been on the cards for a long time.”
This year is the 159th cup and marks the 100th anniversary of the threehandled cup design.
The Melbourne Cup (3200m) is the richest handicap in the world and the richest staying race.
The $14 million The Everest (1200m) in Sydney, which will have its third running this year, is Australia’s richest race.
Peter Knuckey wins aboard Come Play With Me.